Premier Beverage Company and Step Up For Students Celebrate Education with a $39.45 Million Contribution at the “Ensuring a Sustainable Future” Event

May 17, 2012 | Tampa, Fla. – Thursday night nearly 50 guests arrived at Premier Beverage Company’s state-of-the-art facility in Tampa for an event celebrating the company’s commitment to sustainability – both literally and figuratively.

Premier’s Tampa facility is the largest LEED-eligible project in Florida, and is located on a nature preserve. The distribution center, featuring a reflective white TPO roof system, storm water collection locations for irrigation, and a water-cooled, chilled-water HVAC system, was not the only center of attention at the event, however.

Premier planned the event to celebrate their involvement with the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, Step Up For Students.

 Jenna Ingraham, Director of Public Relations at Premier Beverage Company, joins Step Up For Students President Doug Tuthill, Premier CFO Eric Roth, Premier Managing Director of N. Florida Chris Nicolas, Carol Celis, a scholarship recipient’s parent, and Scott Ashley, President of Wine & Spirits Distributors of Florida.


Jenna Ingraham, Director of Public Relations at Premier Beverage Company, joins Step Up For Students President Doug Tuthill, Premier CFO Eric Roth, Premier Managing Director of N. Florida Chris Nicolas, Carol Celis, a scholarship recipient’s parent, and Scott Ashley, President of Wine & Spirits Distributors of Florida.

Jenna Ingraham, Director of Public Relations at Premier Beverage Company, joins Step Up For Students President Doug Tuthill, Premier CFO Eric Roth, Premier Managing Director of N. Florida Chris Nicolas, Carol Celis, a scholarship recipient’s parent, and Scott Ashley, President of Wine & Spirits Distributors of Florida.

Premier contributed $14,450,000 to the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program in 2011, an amount which will fund more than 3,200 scholarships for low-income Florida students across the state. At the event, Premier announced its 2012 pledge to Step Up For Students: $25 million.

This contribution of $25 million will fund 5,594 scholarships, which students can use toward tuition at one of approximately 1,350 Florida schools.

“Our company recognizes that today’s students are tomorrow’s business and political leaders, so it is in our best interest, and theirs, to help them find the educational opportunities they need to succeed,” said Bob Drinon, President and CEO of Premier Beverage Company. “We are thrilled to announce our contribution, and we look forward to hearing all of the success stories that will result from it.”

“Our company recognizes that today’s students are tomorrow’s business and political leaders, so it is in our best interest, and theirs, to help them find the educational opportunities they need to succeed. We are thrilled to announce our contribution, and we look forward to hearing all of the success stories that will result from it.”Bob Drinon, President and CEO of Premier Beverage Company

At the event, guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres made with organic ingredients from Pane Rustica along with new Premier organic wine and spirits products, and had the opportunity to hear from a local scholarship recipient’s parent.

After the presentation, guests also had the opportunity to tour the distribution facility.

“Premier Beverage Company’s commitment to low-income students is incredible, and we are honored to count this company as a partner in our mission to help Florida families choose the educational environment that works best for their children,” said Step Up For Students President Doug Tuthill. “The sheer number of students who will be affected by this contribution is astonishing. Literally thousands of lives will be positively changed, because of Premier’s generosity.”

In the 2011-12 school year, Step Up For Students provided more than 39,400 scholarships to students from low-income families throughout Florida.

Qualifying families are able to choose from approximately 1,350 private schools, or can utilize a transportation scholarship to attend an out-of-district public school. The scholarships are funded by corporations that redirect certain types of Florida tax liabilities to Step Up For Students in exchange for dollar-for-dollar tax credit. Since the scholarship program’s inception in 2001, the corporate community has contributed more than $900 million to provide educational opportunities for Florida’s underserved families.

About Premier Beverage Company

Premier Beverage is one of the largest distributors of wines, spirits and other beverages in Florida. The company’s distribution facilities are located in Pensacola, Jacksonville, Orlando, Miramar and Tampa. Premier Beverage is a member of The Charmer Sunbelt Group (CSG), one of the nation’s leading distributors of fine wines, spirits, beer and other beverages. CSG is a family-owned business and operates local distributor and/or brokerage houses in 15 markets: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

About Step Up For Students

Step Up For Students is a nonprofit organization that administers the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship for low-income Florida students. The scholarship program was created by the Florida Legislature in 2001 and is funded by corporations that receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for their contributions.

For more information, visit www.StepUpForStudents.org.

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